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Foreign Accent
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Book description

To what extent do our accents determine the way we are perceived by others? Is a foreign accent inevitably associated with social stigma? Accent is a matter of great public interest given the impact of migration on national and global affairs, but until now, applied linguistics research has treated accent largely as a theoretical puzzle. In this fascinating account, Alene Moyer examines the social, psychological, educational and legal ramifications of sounding 'foreign'. She explores how accent operates contextually through analysis of issues such as: the neuro-cognitive constraints on phonological acquisition, individual factors that contribute to the 'intractability' of accent, foreign accent as a criterion for workplace discrimination, and the efficacy of instruction for improving pronunciation. This holistic treatment of second language accent is an essential resource for graduate students and researchers interested in applied linguistics, bilingualism and foreign language education.


’A wonderfully rich and readable treatment of accent in all its complexity … refreshingly nuanced in its comments on the practical matters it addresses.'

David Singleton - Trinity College Dublin

‘Meticulously documented, comprehensive in scope, and well balanced in its coverage of all of the relevant issues, Moyer's book is the one I wish I had written!’

Tom Scovel - Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University

‘This insightful volume provides an overview of accent in non-native speech that ranges from Moyer's areas of past expertise - second language phonology, age effects, and the role of individual differences - to broad applications and implications for society, education and politics.'

Julia Herschensohn - University of Washington

'The specificity of the topic makes the book most appropriate for researchers concerned with second-language acquisition, but Moyer's clear writing style and inclusion of a glossary expands the book's appeal for advanced students and language teachers … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.'

K. C. Williams Source: Choice

'This book is a valuable resource for both students and experts alike who are primarily interested in adult second language contexts. The author succinctly summarizes major movements in the field of second language acquisition and probes into the corners that have only been partially investigated. A wide range of studies is offered as evidence to support the discussions, and the review of counter-indicating studies is scholarly and unbiased.'

Mary Hudgens Henderson Source: The Linguist List

'This book will serve as a useful resource. Moyer has respectfully and thoughtfully created a depository for the substantial work that has been done in the area of foreign accent and non-native speech.'

Source: Studies in Second Language Acquisition

'… a remarkably comprehensive treatment of accent, incorporating insights from multiple relevant fields. Because most of the topics covered interact crucially with social aspects of language, sociolinguists should find this book particularly useful … Moyer succeeds admirably with this book. She provides a broad overview of timely issues in non-native accent research, carefully presenting sophisticated data and arguments in a way that will be at the same time accessible to non-specialists and also informative for those already well-versed in the field.'

Rachel Hayes-Harb Source: Journal of Sociolinguistics

'All in all, the volume enriches our understanding of both L2 pronunciation teaching and research. … Second, this account sets out clear guidelines for researchers in the field on how to establish reliability in studies that mainly look at native versus non-native judgments of accented speech and that explore differences between native and non-native speech samples.'

Sharif Alghazo Source: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation

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